It seems like every line of dialogue spoken by the obnoxious 20-somethings in this movie features the word "shrooms." And you thought JUNOisms were annoying! If you took a sip of your Irish coffee every time someone in this movie said "shrooms," you'd be dead before the first jump scare.
The only good thing about SHROOMS is the movie poster, which features a skull shaped out of SHROOMS in the moonlight. Cool!
BATTLEGROUND 8/10 - easily the best episode AND an homage to the greatest made-for-TV horror ever, "Trilogy of Terror." There's even a cameo by our friend the Zuni Doll! It goes the "no dialogue" route, and William Hurt pulls it off well. The FX are ace. Loved this one. Unfortunately, it's mostly downhill from here.
CROUCH'S END 5/10 - this is pretty awful and Claire Forlani has got to be the worst working "name" actress, but there's something eerie in it's Lovecraft-ness that I appreciated for a bit.
THE ROAD VIRUS HEADS NORTH 4/10 - Meh. It's good to see Tom Berenger and Marsha Mason working again. I guess.
UMNEY'S LAST CASE 7/10 - It has a neat noir-ish feel, mostly created by the inimitable character acting of William H. Macy.
THE END OF THE WHOLE MESS 6/10 - eh, this didn't translate too well, but it's watchable.
THE FIFTH QUARTER 7/10 - This one's sort of a heist story with great performances (Sisto, Samantha Mathis) and a surprising homoerotic subplot. Good stuff here.
AUTOPSY ROOM FOUR 4/10 - another King adaptation ruined by Richard Thomas! YOU KNOW THEY GOT A HELL OF A BAND 4/10 - I remember reading this as a youngster and finding it REALLY eerie. What's not to be scared of by evil dead rocknroll icons? Well, how about really lame evil dead rocknroll icon impersonators? This does not translate well to film.
"Cat People" is a film that the phrase "less is more" is often ascribed to, but this doesn't just apply to the horror angle in the film. There's so much subtext going on here about relationships, female sexuality, and gender roles that couldn't be more blatant in the storyline because of the cultural mindset of the era. The few horror scenes that are in the film are done incredibly well with beautiful cinematography and use of shadows and light. My favorite part of the film is that eerie pool sequence, which is on par with the creepy "walk through the sugar cane field" segment in "I Walked With a Zombie." Tourneur really knew how to get under an audience's skin. Overall, this is a gorgeously photographed film with more going on than is on the surface. And it's a total heart-breaker.
John Fasano's follow up to his bizarrely awful "Rock & Roll Nightmare" doesn't fare that much better story-wise, but it's still sort of charming. It lacks the interesting visuals and characters of its predecessor, but makes up for that by adding more puppet-monster action. Nothing happens in the first half hour of the film, which has a really strange feeling, like it's a musical from the 50s instead of an 80s rocker movie. There's even a sequence where the bored lead teenager is trying to woo a girl by dancing around the street, from lamppost to lamppost, saying things like "Let's paint the town red!" The score is equally out-of-place for a movie about a demonic glam rock band. It sounds like something out of an 80s children's adventure movie. The special effects and puppetry are charming and one of the only things that kept my attention. Especially worth noting is a scene where future Soprano's star Vincent Pastore gets gobbled up by his stereo speakers. So while "Black Roses" isn't completely unwatchable, it isn't really a good movie and recommended for only those who really dig this type of thing.